AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– The local Liberian community is gathering supplies in hopes of showing support for those overseas struggling with Ebola.
“We started collecting things around August,” said Daniel Moore, the president of the Liberian Community in Colorado.
He thanks people again and again, “What we have here is we have wipes, that we need. Boxes in there we have gloves and we have disposable gowns.”
Many of the supplies have been donated by Denver Health Medical Center.
With an outbreak of a fearful disease tearing apart their homeland, they’re trying to do what they can.
“We’ve had family members of the church who’ve lost six person in the family,” said Leroy Beldeh, Executive Director of iEARN-Liberia, a not-for-profit organization that brings Liberian students to the U.S.
That program is designed to immerse students in U.S. culture to bring home knowledge of American democracy. Now he’s put the program on hold.
As a society, Liberians are helpful. Beldeh believes that is part of the problem in the spread of the disease.
“That was one reason why the virus spread. If a family was sick, we do help,” Beldeh said.
People went into the homes of relatives, neighbors and friends to help when they became ill. Now they are paying the price.
Another issue facing many communities: hunger. As fears of Ebola continue to grow, many communities have virtually shut down.
“You can’t work and so in order to feed your family and so that’s another factor to make people sick and die,” said Beldeh.
He returned from Liberia after the virus broke out and put himself in quarantine at home for 21 days.
What he experienced is difficult to describe. Beldeh saw bodies in the streets. His friends lost a baby during childbirth because the hospital was closed due to Ebola.
Moore’s father and his entire town evacuated into the forests after an outbreak, afraid to return. Only recently have they returned after the village was disinfected.
Colorado has a modest community of about 3,000 Liberians who are coming together to support their home country.
They have collected many supplies but are accepting more donations at Christ Vision Ministries Church on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 5-9 p.m. The church is located at 262 Havana St. in Aurora.
The group is also planning to ship the supplies to Minnesota where they will be shipped overseas. They are seeking donations of a truck to haul the supplies and donations to make the trip possible.
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